Double Blow for ZRP as Court Orders Cops to Immediately Release Magombeyi and Allow Him to Seek Specialist Medical Services in South Africa

JUDGE President Justice George Chiweshe on Wednesday 25 September 2019 ordered Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers to immediately release Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) leader Dr Peter Magombeyi and allow him to travel to South Africa to seek and access specialist medical services.

Some ZRP officers had effectively “imprisoned” Dr Magombeyi after they camped at a private medical clinic in Harare after preventing him from leaving Zimbabwe to access medical services in South Africa.

The ZRP’s actions were in contempt of a lawful court order granted by consent on Tuesday 24 September 2019 by High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou, who interdicted ZRP from preventing Dr Magombeyi from leaving Zimbabwe for South Africa.

But on Wednesday Justice Chiweshe ordered ZRP or anyone acting through them or on their behalf to immediately release Dr Magombeyi. During the court hearing, the Judge President questioned ZRP if there is a law which entitles police officers to hold and detain people who are not suspects.

Justice Chiweshe also dismissed an application filed on Tuesday 24 September 2019 by ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Michael Chibaya, the Officer-In-Charge of Criminal Investigations Department (Law and Order Section) at Harare Central Police Station purportedly seeking to “correct” the consent order granted by Justice Zhou.

In court, Dr Magombeyi’s lawyers Alec Muchadehama, Beatrice Mtetwa, Roselyn Hanzi and Jeremiah Bamu argued that the ZRP officers’ actions in preventing the ZHDA leader were in defiance of the recommendation by his doctors, who noted that he had suffered possible physical harm and psychological trauma which warranted that further functional brain imaging and further toxicological evaluation, which is not available in Zimbabwe, be conducted on him.

ZLHR Position

It is very unfortunate that the State chose to waste the court’s precious time and resources and to jeopardise the health of Dr Magombeyi.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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